An Okehampton gym owner announced last week that he has organised a food drive campaign to provide all foodbank users with a festive dinner this Christmas.

Josh Ware, who runs the Okehampton gym Future Bodies, is aiming to raise at least £3,000 for the foodbank so that it can provide fresh ingredients to families to make their very own Christmas meal.

Mr Ware said: ‘Having spoken to Okehampton Foodbank, as it stands there are around 80 families in Okehampton that are regularly relying on a foodbank.

‘Sadly, those numbers have increased by around 20 percent in the last two months alone. Alongside this, the foodbank has seen its costs of the absolute basic staples rise by around 25 percent.

‘When I set out to build Future Bodies community I wanted to have maximum positive impact on as many lives as possible. Therefore, I see it as our duty to use our platform to help those in need when we are able to do so.’

He is also asking for Okehampton residents and local businesses to drop off food donations and other basic necessities at the gym at the beginning of next month (December 10), which Future Bodies staff will then deliver to families in need across the area.

The gym will accept donations from 8am to 1pm on the day but, added Mr Ware, all food donations must be long-life to prevent extra waste if it is not possible to hand out fresh food before the expiry date.

He said:’ Even though we know the goodness of fresh food, it would be impossible to coordinate the delivery of this and for the foodbank to use accordingly without waste.’

Okehampton Foodbank has asked that residents not donate items such as pasta, baked beans, tinned tomatoes, soup, porridge and tinned vegetables and fruit and instead offer products such as Christmas cake, mince pies, washing powder, toothpaste, deoderants and shampoo of which it is desperately short.

Future Bodies will donate any extra money raised to the foodbank to use later.

In June, Okehampton’s foodbank reported it hadseen a 60 percent drop in food donations since the spring which was attributed to the cost-of-living crisis.

The fall caused great worry among volunteers as, at that time, the foodbank already supported 68 local families and expected more to start needing the service as prices continued to rise.

Okehampton’s foodbank is located in the Lower Hall of the Baptist Church in Okehampton and provides dried, tinned and bottled ingredients and goods to families so that they can prepare meals.

Each parcel also includes fresh seasonal fruit and vegetables, butter, eggs, cheese, and bread, and once a month also includes household cleaning products, soap, shampoo, bathroom and kitchen cleaner, toothpaste, toothbrushes, deodorants, and razors.

The foodbank also offers nappies, baby wipes, soap, and shampoo to families with babies and young children.

The items need to change month by month so the foodbank asks that anyone considering a donation check which items are in short supply at one of the three collection points located at the Co-op, Lidl and Waitrose, before offering any food.

Anyone struggling to buy enough food can contact the foodbank by text on 07483 877378 or by email at [email protected].

For more information on volunteering, making a donation or accessing help visit the foodbank’s website at

To donate to the food drive campaign visit